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  • Gayle Draper

Creating an Intentional Job Search Strategy - Part 1

The Driver's Seat

The trend is clear: more and more people are switching, evolving, and strategizing their careers in 2023. No longer in the backseat letting the employer decide, they have intentionally moved to the driver's seat on their career journey.

Changes in the job market, shifts in technology, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have all contributed to this growing trend. Many workers are re-evaluating their careers, and the rise of remote work capabilities has made it easier for workers to explore new paths.

But that doesn’t mean switching careers is easy. It’s a big decision that requires careful consideration.

Finding career clarity is a journey, not a destination. Being intentional about your values and goals can help you gain clarity on what you want from your career.

Career Clarity

The journey starts by taking the time to reflect on your values, goals, skills, and strengths:

🔹 Spend time reflecting and researching what it is that you really want. Know what you need from the next chapter for money, lifestyle, and career growth.

🔹 Invest in an assessment that reviews your skills, style, or type to identify your strengths and how you can leverage them in your career. This will offer vital clues as to your working style, personality, and how you make decisions. Ensure the assessment comes with a debrief with a certified and knowledgeable professional.

🔹 Determine your transferable skills through self-analysis or assessments to identify the types of roles that would be a good fit for you now and in the future.

🔹 Find and review job descriptions and postings and compare your skills against the ones listed. This skills audit is a powerful tool and will help you to determine what skills or credentials you need to develop.

🔹 Create a learning plan utilizing free or accessible learning resources like HubSpot Academy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning, or invest in a micro-credential.

🔹 Determine your circle of support. They could be friends, family, previous colleagues, or a mentor – anyone you trust to offer advice, ideas, and empathy. They might even come across opportunities or have access to networks that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

🔹 Determine your circle of influence. These may be a career coach, your coworkers or boss, or a media-based influencer you align with. To evolve your career be engaged, curious, teachable, relatable, and generous in giving back.

Exploring the Labour Market

You’re clear on what you want out of your career or new job. But what’s next? What do you need to know before you start hitting ‘apply?’

First, explore the labour market. Think of it as just like shopping:

Employers are like stores at the mall. They may not all be for you, but you can still do some window shopping: you never know where you might find an opportunity! Use websites, newspapers, directories, Chamber of Commerce memberships, professional associations, and informational interviews.

Browse without purchase: You can learn what occupations each employer has without applying. Research and speak with your network to help you decide if there is a potential fit there for you.

Shop on-line first and set up email alerts to see what postings there are and what companies are in the marketplace. Follow on LinkedIn and bookmark company websites in your favourites to check back regularly.

Next, create a list of companies that stand out or industries you could see yourself thriving in. From here, you can ‘Follow’ company LinkedIn pages for updates and job postings, start networking with people in the industry, and get your name in front of decision-makers.

In the meantime, do some research on the salary range for your target role in the labour market, and what knowledge, skills, and expertise are needed.

Self-Care During the Job Search

Job searching can be a stressful process – emotionally, mentally, and financially.

Whether or not you’re currently searching, putting together a self-care plan today will prepare you for your career journey ahead, especially if you ever find yourself in between jobs.

Being the strongest, healthiest version of yourself will strengthen your mindset and build your sense of resiliency – important during the good times, but essential in the tough times.

Set aside some time once a month:

🔹 Review your self-care goals

🔹 Ensure your personal savings and investments are in order

🔹 Schedule that general check-up you’ve been putting off

🔹 Consider regular personal therapy or counseling

Your self-care plan should factor in any regular breaks, quiet moments, or meditation – anything that helps you keep your mind uncluttered and less susceptible to overwhelm.

Build in Microbreaks that have you away from your regular workspace, outside, or in another room. Give yourself ten minutes to change gears, celebrate the application submitted, or the interview preparation homework. You are your cheerleader so treat yourself well.

Prioritizing your needs can boost your confidence, help you feel more empowered, and prepare you to take on new challenges in the job search process.

Career Coaching

Are you feeling overwhelmed and unsure what your next steps could be?

Are you wondering if investing in professional services would be worthwhile?

Are you confused about how a career coach might help you?

For more than 20 years I have focused my work on helping people move forward into new careers, new jobs, new roles, and new businesses.

Be intentional with your career journey and book a complimentary discovery call today.


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